Production of the Nissan NV200 Taxi – New York’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” – is now underway at the company’s assembly plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Nissan said it developed the new taxi, which is based on the NV200 compact cargo vehicle, to suit the specific demands of the more than 600,000 people who ride in New York City taxicabs every day.
In 2011, after a competitive two-year selection process, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) of New York City selected Nissan NV200 as the exclusive taxi for the city.
Nissan did not yet say if there will ever be a version available with electric propulsion. The company does produce a NV200 powered by a variation of the Leaf electric powertrain, but no plans yet have been confirmed to make it available as part of New York’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” program.
Nissan said the taxi will roll off the line looking as if it’s ready to be hailed. Preparations to launch production of the taxi in Cuernavaca entailed the challenge of modifying the production line to integrate exclusive taxi characteristics without affecting production volumes and while maintaining award-winning quality records. The Paint Shop added the exclusive New York taxi yellow color and new elements to achieve a perfect under-floor seal. The plant also added an exclusive afterline to complete taxi-specific manufacturing processes such as bodylines, side door windows and the vehicle’s panoramic roof.
Nissan previously said it created its own “New York Avenue” at its Arizona proving grounds to replicate harsh conditions of New York City streets to rigorously test the NV200 taxi so that the suspension can be tuned specifically to NYC road conditions. Additionally, Nissan hired New York City cab drivers to drive test vehicles around the city, collecting data which was then used to refine the vehicle. In total, these drivers logged more than 155,000 miles – enough to cover every street in Manhattan more than 300 times.
The NV200 taxi is powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, said by Nissan to be engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet.
These NV200 taxi will progressively replace the current fleet of mostly V8-powered Ford Crown Victoria.